Monday, October 29, 2007


Date #2: The corn maze.

I drove to his house so that I could get a tour of his house. Wow - if you thought I was anal, this guy is boarderline OCD. His creativity comes out with his decorating, so his house looks almost professionally decorated. He also has some nice man-toys and I have to admit that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some of them myself.

The weather was perfect. We had a great drive through the country to the orchard. There were 3 levels to the maze - we breezed through levels 1 & 2 without a problem. We were hardly paying attention, gabbing the whole time, and made it through to the end. Level 3 kicked our asses. We didn't get through it. We even tried to cheat and got totally called out by these 10-year-olds. So, to massage our bruised egos we went to the little store and had cider brats and cider. I also introduced him to apple butter – the poor sheltered man. He had no idea what he was missing out on.

Then I was off to a beef stew fundraiser with my friend The Hygenist. It's been a while since I've had beef stew and it was pretty damn good! Afterwards The Hygenist and I went for a walk and saw the orange almost-full moon. She turns to me and says “Now, what is that supposed to mean?” The only answer I could come up with was “Um, particulate in the air? I dunno.” She looked at me blankly and said “I didn’t want a scientific answer.” Sorry, that’s about all I’ve got.

He picked me up afterwards and brought me some ice cream that he'd *made* while we were having beef stew. Yes, try to contain your jealousy - he does make his own ice cream. One was vanilla with Reese's peanut butter cups, and the other was chocolate. SO yummy. He got the tour of my place and a walk through the family pics out on display.

Then we were off to the light display. I'd never been to one before and I was pretty impressed. I think the volcano with flowing lava was our favorite. We also did their light maze and only got turned around twice. I would have kicked his ass at air hockey but it was broken. Back at his house we watched Cars on his giant TV. Both of us are normally early risers so we were struggling to stay awake to the end of the movie.

Unofficial Date #3: Sunday night he joined The Dentist, her mom, The Hygenist and I for a movie - Dan in Real Life. It was pretty funny and cute. You have to love Steve Carell. A good time had by all.

I’m looking forward to Official Date #3.

Monday, October 22, 2007

"That's almost a full work day!"

OK, the much anticipated update on Lil Kate’s social life. Well, then again, maybe not as I’ve either a) talked to you on the phone or b) personally emailed you about it already. Feel free to skip this one should you find yourself nodding off.

Saturday I had my first *real* date. I say *real* only because technically he was a stranger to me, an acquaintance if you want to be generous. In other words: he wasn’t plucked from the established friend pool.

We met for dinner, and gabbed the whole time. Of course, those of you familiar with my neurosis know that I hardly ate anything.

Then we were off to see Michael Clayton (similar plot to Erin Brockovich – many more explosions and murders) during which there was no talking (just the way I like it).

Afterwards the hilarity ensued: tried going to the Starbucks nearby to gab some more only to find that it was closing in 25 minutes. Off to Target (with a Starbucks inside).

Well, their Starbucks was also closed, so we walked around a bit, looked at Halloween costumes and removable hooks for Christmas lights (hey, I need to get some anyway… and we were already there… why the hell not? Shut up. He liked it). Then Target was closing.

Caribou across the street was closed. Last resort: your friendly neighborhood Applebee’s (wow, I watch too much TV). And there we gabbed until about 12:30 – way past my bedtime.

Logging 7 hours on a first date? Not bad.

My impression: good. We will continue dating.

The juicy details have already been communicated to a majority of the interested trusted parties. Those feeling left out know where to find me.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm on freakin' fire

OK, first off? Forget the bartender. Ticking me off. Total child.

Moving on.

I met a man tonight. A real *adult.* I like him. He made a very good impression.

We're having dinner tomorrow night.


Wish me luck!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Well, I'll be damned

The bartender gave me his phone number.


That's a first.

I've been remiss

I’ve been meaning to tell you all about my Cranberry Fest weekend ever since I got back. What can I say? The new fall line-up, my good book and shear laziness have impeded me. Better late than never, right?

OK, so, let’s start recounting last weekend.

I came into work Friday morning really hoping to get all of my cells harvested and put to bed quickly so that I could (ideally) get on the road before noon. That didn’t happen. Turned out to be more labor intensive than I bargained for. BUT, it was done correctly and I felt good about it. I ended up leaving work at 12:30. The drive over to northern WI was relatively uneventful.

Stopping in for a quick visit with the Grandparents I got slobbered on by the basset hound, and got to hear an interesting conspiracy theory from my Grandpa. I’ve not known him to be much of a conspiracy theorist, but there’s a lot about him I don’t know, so I’m rolling with the punches here.

Mom and Stepdad were in a hurry to get to dinner because Friday Night Lights was premiering that night. They had decided to take me to Little Bohemia (famous for a J. Edgar Hoover G-men & Dillinger gang shoot-out) approximately 20 miles from their house. Due to a rather unfortunate and tragic accident involving a school bus being rear-ended by a sedan (killing the driver of the sedan) the highway of choice was closed. We ended up taking what seemed to be a cross between a snowmobile trail and a logging road (along with about two dozen other cars) to get where we were going. Needless to say, we were running rather late.

Though Stepdad complained about the time, it didn’t occur to either of them to stop off at any one of the hundreds of eating establishments we passed on the way to Little Bohemia. I wasn’t about to make the suggestion – I don’t watch Friday Night Lights anyway. We finally get to Little Bohemia to find out that it’s packed, and they are understaffed. We wait around for about an hour before getting a table. During that time I was able to tour the back room where part of the famed shoot-out took place. They’ve preserved the bullet holes in the windows and walls, and made display cases of the items the gang left behind as they fled. Pretty neat. For about 10 minutes. Dinner turned out to be sub-par, but hey, we were there and happy to be eating at all.

Saturday was Cranberry Fest. It was rainy that morning, so we figured that would scare some folks away until Sunday. Boy, were we wrong. The hordes of people milling around the Fest was enough to suck the fun right out of it. I really don’t like constantly feeling like I’m “in the way.” I also don’t particularly like people being in my way. It was a lose-lose situation. The folks who decided to bring enormous strollers, or wheelchair-bound grandmothers had an even tougher time. By the time the lunch rush was over, there was a sort of “abandonment” camp of old biddies in wheelchairs, left to watch the crowds while their more able-bodied kin nimbly moved from craft booth to craft booth. The most annoying display: a woman who decided to pack her 4 Corgies along. She had a double-decker dog stroller – one dog in the bottom, 2 in the top, and one in her arms. This woman needed to leave. She was taking up WAY too much space.

We called it quits after lunch (a cranberry brat with a cranberry crème puff for dessert, thankyouverymuch). Seeing as how it was unseasonably warm and the fall colors were *just* past their peak, Stepdad took me for a long motorcycle ride out to Lac du Flambeau and back. It was gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. I just can’t stress that enough. With our short jaunts in town, I get a little nervous on the back of the bike. I keep thinking “If we dump, I’m going to break every bone in my body.” But on the highways – where there was very little traffic – it felt great.

Sunday Mom and I left Minocqua early to get to Wausau and run some errands. Then we stopped in to see Grandma and visit with her and her neighbor. Mom was staying with Grandma that night because she had a doctor’s appointment the next day that she couldn’t drive herself home from.

Overall it was a good weekend, despite Cranberry Fest turning out to be a bit of a bust. I got to get some quality time in with the puppy (who is still growing, but not yet grown), eat good food, and appreciate fall during 80 degree weather. I even got to sleep in the real guest bedroom (as opposed to the bunk beds in the office – not so much fun when you’re an adult).

I’m curious if it’ll be snowing the next time I venture to WI.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Odds and Ends

Let’s see… what’s new….? Not a whole heck of a lot. I’ve spent the last couple of weekends here in Rochester so I don’t have any crazy family stories to share.

The first weekend was highlighted by a Girls Nite Out on Friday. We decided to try a new restaurant – not really to eat but more to have a drink at the bar. It’s a nice place with a real chef and all. The bar seems to be more of an after thought. I believe there were approximately 7 stools around it. Not being particularly busy (we 3 were the only ones at the bar) we got some personal attention from the bartender, who also happens to be a manager. Nice guy, 28, single, invited us back anytime, and told us where to find him on the nights he’s not working there. I’ll keep that in mind. We seemed to entertain him.

The second weekend was highlighted by a significant amount of napping, pleasure reading, and cleaning. Sometimes you just need weekends like that.

I’ve been enjoying the premiers of all of my favorite TV shows, and mourning the loss of daylight. I have to admit, though, that I’m ready for the change of season – more specifically, I’m ready for a change of wardrobe. I’m tired of all of my summer clothes and I’m ready to whip out the sweaters and turtlenecks. I’ll go through this again sometime in the spring – count on it.

I’m still trying to finish up this last paper for my Fat Former Boss (FFB from now on). It’s been a looooooong, sloooooooow process. Since my former postdoc, E, got on board, it’s been going smoother, and significantly faster. And now that E agrees that we should leave FFB *out of the picture entirely* things will continue to go smoothly. The most awesome thing: we both agree that it will NOT get accepted at the journal we’re submitting it to (so there’s no bullshitting – we’re all realistic around here), and also agree on where to submit it next. The only possibly false hope we have is that it will actually get reviewed and that then we’ll have some constructive criticism to help make the paper better for the next submission. The goal is to submit this online tomorrow night. I’m leaving for WI Friday around noon, so I need to get it done before I leave.

It’s Cranberryfest in northern WI this weekend! Crafts and freaks as far as the eye can see! Mom promises that I can get a significant amount of Christmas shopping done at this shindig – so you all better beware, and *be nice.* To me. Specifically. Or you’ll get some crappy piece of homemade chintz in your stocking.